It was an amazing sunny day and good forecast meant I was heading for the mountains rather than putting up shelves
I headed off at half 6, always painful on a Sunday, after heavy rain on the M9, I was soon being chased my manic cars on the Lochearnhead road, desperate to get around - maybe a few skiers in there trying to be first on the slopes.
After I lost the bumper stickers, it was looking increasingly perfect weather out west - the exact opposite of when I last tried climbing these two. As the hills of the day and Cruachan came into view it was clearly going to be a beautiful days walking.
Lots of folk already parked up, so I went down the road a wee bit past a farm to a bigger parking bay.
A walk up the track is an easy going introduction and no cows to slip past like last time. The track soon gains height, and I opt to walk on to the south-east ridge of Beinn a'Chochuill and do the hills clockwise. Met plenty of folk doing them the other way throughout the day.
After a sweaty and sunny trek up rough slopes, I put the crampons on just before the ridge. Plenty of hard snow around with blobs of soft stuff in between. The views opened up to Cruachan, which looked fantastic in the snow and the ridge ahead. Beiin Eunaich was a snowy cone behind me.
At the summit met quite a few folk and there was some hard ice to trudge up. An inversion by the looks of it lay further inland, but we had the best weather out in the west. There was so little wind it was actually perfectly silent when I was on the summit by myself!
There was an easy stroll across the ridge, with thickening snow. The real highlight was again the weather - not only sun, but little cloud forming around places in the hill casting a glowing amber light. The climb up Eunaich was relatively short but I was definitely feeling it in my legs with the extra crampon weight, I resolved to bring more cheese next time. The summit was next to a giant cornice that was tempting to jump on but I managed to restrain myself. Here there was also stunning silence, with glowing mist - very strange!
I got cold very quickly here so started descending, meeting lots of folk as I had done throughout the climb. The views down were stunning, with a cloud layer formed, coming out of it.
The slopes down are steep, made easier by the soft snow at the higher parts. My legs were feeling it by the time I got on the track, but it is pretty short. Then just an amble back to the car - plenty of light, didn't need to get up so early...
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.